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Time Warner Cable debuts new Flagship Experience Store
April 23, 2014
Time Warner Cable recently opened its new Flagship Experience Store in the Flatiron District of New York City, and kitted it out with an array of interactive customer experiences.
According to Time Warner Cable, the new flagship location "features an innovative retail concept aimed at providing customers with exceptional customer service. The flagship also provides customers an interactive experience to learn about and enjoy Time Warner Cable's suite of TV, Internet and Phone products and services that help connect them to what matters most."
Time Warner Cable worked with Middletown, Conn.-based digital merchandising firm Reality Interactive for more than a year to roll out its redesigned experience stores. After rolling out 20 smaller stores nationwide in 2013, Time Warner Cable was ready to unveil its New York City flagship store in February of this year, RI said in announcement of the project.
The Time Warner Cable Flagship Store features a range of digital installations, including a large video wall, interactive product demos, a digital fireplace, several large 21-inch tablets combining product learning with Internet browsing, multiple five-screen video walls around the store and smaller signage tablets highlighting relevant offerings to customers during face-to-face contact with Time Warner Cable associates.
"As we continue to introduce new product technologies and features, the new flagship store will serve as a resource for customers to better understand everything we have to offer," John Quigley, regional vice president of operations, Time Warner Cable, said in an announcement from the cable company. "This store is all about improving customer service and connecting with our customers by providing a relaxed and engaging environment that encourages people to interact with and sample our products."
The New York City flagship store is expected to serve more customers than any other Time Warner Cable store and is its largest at 14,000 square feet, the company said. The store welcomes guests with a modern, open floor plan to serve as a place to learn and try Time Warner Cable's interactive TV, Internet, phone and IntelligentHome products and services. In addition, customers can take advantage of free Wi-Fi and multiple mobile device charging stations throughout the store. The full-service site also provides payment processing, as well as equipment pick-up and return.
"This channel needs to be awakened," Blaine Altaffer, group vice president of retail, told MarketWatch in an interview. "I don't want it to be a DMV experience. We realized customers need hands-on experience. It's built for them on their terms."
The store is situated at 43 West 23rd St. in the Flatiron District, and the locals are happy about the new addition to the neighborhood.
"We are incredibly pleased that Time Warner Cable has launched its flagship store in Flatiron, a testament to both the allure and accessibility of our district," said Jennifer Brown, executive director of the Flatiron 23rd Street Partnership Business Improvement District, in the announcement from Time Warner Cable. "More than ever, Flatiron has become a destination for shopping, dining, and service, and Time Warner Cable's commitment to stay in the neighborhood — and unveil such a dynamic and interactive space — shines a brighter light on all that we have to offer to those who live, work or visit the district."
Each piece of technology in the store was strategically placed for maximum effect, Reality Interactive said in its announcement. Customer and employee traffic flow, crowding, engagement zones and sightlines were taken into careful consideration, the company said. The placement of digital experiences was designed to encourage traffic movement in some areas while discouraging crowding in others, and various techniques were used to draw customers in. The screens are placed so that they are visible from different locations in the store, each playing a different role in the customer journey.
According to RI, the biggest, most exciting part of the installation is the Mobile Station Showpiece; a larger-than-life 90-inch custom-built tablet that looks and behaves like a giant mobile device.
"This was an exciting project for us because we could take everything we had learned from the smaller stores over the past year and apply it to this new grand retail environment," RI Creative Director Doug Hampton-Dowson said in the announcement from his firm. "The customer experience was always the central focus for us. We wanted to create the right blend of entertaining, relatable content with just the right amount of brand messaging. Our challenge was to create an environment where customers could experience intangible Time Warner Cable services in a tangible way."
Watch a video about the new flagship location from Time Warner Cable, below: